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Environmental human rights defenders prevented from attending COP24

Author: Amnesty International, Published on: 11 December 2018

"At least 13 staff members and activists of environmental organizations were refused entry to Poland over the weekend during the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP24, held in Katowice. In addition, three staff members of environmental organizations were questioned in their hotels about their IDs by the border police in Katowice. Two of them were arrested and detained for 12 hours...

These actions follow the adoption of a law in January 2018, which banned any spontaneous assemblies during the conference and enhanced surveillance powers. Under the law, the police or other law enforcement authorities can collect and use personal electronic and digital data. Five UN Special Rapporteurs as well as NGOs, including Amnesty International, raised concerns over the impact of the law on the right to freedom of assembly and expression during COP24.

Amnesty International has learned that in multiple cases, the border police accused the environmentalists of being a 'threat to national security'. Poland’s border police denied entries to accredited civil society participants of COP24 talks as well as a member of the official delegation from Georgia."

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